Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Chemical Romance confirmed for 2012 Big Day Out Festival

Australia and New Zealand's Big Day Out Festival began announcing its 2012 line-up this morning.

Having been inundated with rumors that My Chemical Romance would be playing this year, fans were pleased when @bdo_official confirmed MCR, along with 16 other acts, about an hour ago.

The traveling Australia/New Zealand festival will span January 20 to February 5, 2012.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Chemical Romance members Hope to Return to the Studio Soon, Continue Side-projects

UPDATE: September 28, 2011 @ 12:40 p.m.

I was just sent a scan of the original Kerrang! article.

In the language Kerrang!, the original story source, used, the side-project aspect was less of a highlight than NME's report:
"And while the band members are all concentrating on My Chemical Romance for now, Frank believes that one day, they may each explore other projects--similar to his 2009 Leathermouth album XO-- before returning to the fold."
Kerrang! Magazine

ORIGINAL POST: September 28, 2011 @ 11:54 a.m.
According to NME, citing the latest issue of Kerrang!, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance has said the band hopes to make a quick return to the studio, but will also continue with their side-projects.

Iero had told Kerrang!:
"We're being very creative right now. There are some really bright and creative things going on. At every soundcheck, we're coming up with new pieces of music that could turn into something incredible. So we're hoping to get into the studio soon and really harness that."

While My Chemical Romance has been working diligently on new material, Iero also said, according to NME, that he can see a future for his band LeATHERMOUTH and other creative outlets his bandmates in MCR could take beyond the band:

"I can see the other guys branching off and doing other things. Gerard has his writing, and he has plans for that, but he wants to direct too. And Ray is such an incredible talent. I'd love to see him get the credit he's due. I can see us branching off, but always coming back to this."

The Kerrang! issue excerpt says, "My Chemical Romance hint at new material and side-projects."


NOTE: As soon as I can find scans of Kerrang!, I will have a better handle on the facts. I'm not a big fan of NME's online spins. Thanks for your patience.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Donation Button Added for MCR-supported Charities and Blog Fund

UPDATE: September 27 @ 12:37 a.m.
I just reached enough in donations for my first purchase from MASScanvas, which means $2 will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation thanks to you guys! You rule!

ORIGINAL POST: September 26 @ 4:50 p.m.
If you look to the right, you will see a new blog feature. I have added a Paypal Donate button to my blog, mostly for the purpose of raising money for MCR-related charities.

Over the few years of this blog's lifespan, I have thought of a few ways to monetize my content and to make sure I remain able to provide it.

That doesn't take much, though, and I'd rather give than take.

So, inspired by the success of a UK-based MCRmy group that was recently featured on MCR's site, I decided to set up my own fundraising efforts.

If you choose to donate:
  • 90% will go toward the purchase of #SINGItForJapan or MCR's MASScanvas charity t-shirts.
  • Said shirts will be given away as a thank-you to my readers through this site.
  • The other 10%, will go toward a "blog fund," which will help with the minor expenses of maintaining this blog like keeping my custom domain name, and--in a distant future--possibly to buying a better Internet connection so I can stay updated while at home. I will also draw from this to help with shipping costs of the t-shirts.

Any little bit is appreciated and helpful.

If you do not want to donate this way, please consider purchasing a #SINGItForJapan or MCR MASScanvas t-shirt independently in support of the Red Cross and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, respectively!

Check out the video below from The Honda Civic Tour of MCR talking about their involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Because the MASScanvas shirts are limited edition, the first donations will go toward them!


PS: This is my 400th post!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unabridged Live Review: My Chemical Romance @ The Honda Civic Tour / September 13, 2011 / Cuyahoga Falls, OH

"Now, this could be the last of all the rides we take. So, hold on tight and don't look back."

My last show of the Honda Civic Tour. The finality of that weighed on me as I drove the 5 hours to the Cleveland area. From recent interviews, I had suspected it could be a while before we get to see MCR live again; so, I was armed to savor every moment my favorite band offered me at Blossom Music Center on September 13.

My friend and I arrived at about the same time MCR's bus pulled in, and we were able to hear a few slices of their soundcheck from the outside gates as we waited to go in. While waiting, we met the girl who was doing the tour report for Buzznet, and she snapped a picture of yours truly and other dressed-up MCR fans for the review (far left).

Once inside, my friend and I found our seat. After Matt & Kim, we obnoxiously stood up and started to do stretches, caring very little how crazy we may have looked to those around us.

Fortunately, "those around us" were great company in which to be. Next to us were two girls wearing My Chemical Romance shirts, and in front of us were several others dressed similarly. Hell, even the drunk lady who showed up halfway through their set was excitedly slurring to my friend about how much she loved "that Parade song." Before we had gone in, I had heard a guy grumble, "Man, I'm not liking how many MCR shirts I'm seeing." Too bad for you, sir. But, wonderful for us!

It was as if the crowds from the first HCT stop I attended to this one had been stair-stepping up in their concentration of MCR fans. Noblesville had had more MCR fans than Cincinnati, and Cleveland's number of MCR fans in the crowd seemed much denser than the previous two.

From the second they came out to "Na Na Na..." through the entire set, people were very much into it. Especially during "Teenagers." Before these shows, I had never realized how much of a far-reaching single "Teenagers" was. Every time, it seemed to be the song that got the biggest reaction. Still, "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W," a far less well known song also made an impact.

They thanked a couple friends who were in attendance and sang Happy Birthday to Jason Pettigrew of Alternative Press, adding a unique flair to the show and showing just how appreciative they are of their supporters and friends.

At the previous shows, my friend and I had stood on Ray's side of the stage, and for this one were on Frank's. I realized, as I watched from the new angle, that I and others have been very lucky that Frank's guitar straps have always held up. During "Helena" and the set's other ...Revenge bits especially, Frank stood out, thrashing and spinning with his guitar in a way that could get dangerous if the thin strap holding his instrument to him had happened to break.

The large, wooden pavilion heated up fast with the energy of MCR's set. As I felt sweat starting to drip down my own face, Gerard slipped off his jacket, confirming that it must have been hot in there. Cool-downs during "The Kids From Yesterday," "The Only Hope for Me is You," and--finally--"Cancer" were very much welcome.

It was really the perfect way to end the three-show run I had done on the tour: Surrounded by my fellow fans, covered in sweat, grinning like a fool and gulping for air as cell phones and lighters of thousands lit the Cleveland night.

The hardest part of this is leaving you...

Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
Planetary (Go!)
The Only Hope for Me Is You
The Kids from Yesterday
Give 'Em Hell, Kid
Welcome to the Black Parade

After MCR's set, my friend and I were fortunate enough to be able to talk to the guys briefly and "to...say goodbye, for a little while."

Frank was the first to come out to meet us both with a welcoming hug. "I see the boots are still going strong," he had said in greeting with a grin as he glanced at my shoes. I told him in amazement that he remembered my boots in the first place that they almost didn't survive a previous show I went to and that they may have to go into retirement soon.

I was a little overwhelmed meeting them this time because they all greeted me with a hug, something I have never once experienced from them.

I thought back to my 17-year-old self at a sit-down meet-and-greet. I had blurted, after telling Gerard how much his lyrics had helped me, "C-could I have a hug?" only to be shot down by both him and Big Worm. "You can have a high five, though?" he had then offered. I willingly took that, but I had been mortified by my brashness ever since.

And now, without asking, he--the second to come out after Frank--had opened his poncho-draped arms to hug me when I waved to him. I felt the crimson blush of my inner 17-year-old fade. Sweet redemption!

Ray and Mikey came up next, both following Frank's and Gerard's lead to hug me.

Needless to say, I was a little disoriented from the swirl of Chemical Hug-receiving. A lot of what I had planned to say flew straight from my brain and landed in a mushy puddle somewhere near my boots.

Frank didn't allow anything to become awkward, though, as he stood with my friend and me while the rest of the guys went off to sign a poster a few feet away. We talked about everything ranging from Taco Bell ("I love their Cinnamon Twists. I get into fights with people at Taco Bell. They wont give me them instead of nachos. I've thought about writing to "Mr. Taco Bell..."), "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" and how he doesn't know how the crowd reacts to it because he can't look up (we reassured him that we love it), "Skylines and Turnstiles" in Detroit, and what the guys may be doing after the tour.

He seemed so bashful as we told them how proud we are of them and he said, "You girls are too much" and hugged us again. It's hard not to compliment them endlessly, though. Especially after one has just seen them play.

Frank had to be pried away to go sign the posters the rest of the guys had just finished with, and the others came back. Gerard talked to me briefly and thanked me for "catalogue-ing" things for them. He had said, "Frank keeps a lot of that stuff, but you really help out, too," which amazed me: that he even knew something I do.

When Ray came back by, he gave me a high five (a very high one, at that. He's quite tall) and told me, "See you next year!" I told him, "I'll be here. I'm not going anywhere."

Mikey didn't say much, but he was kind enough to hug us "hello" and "goodbye" and to tell us to "be safe home" before they all hugged us one last time and departed.

The thing that always amazes me about MCR is how thankful they are. They thanked US for coming out to their shows. As if it's a chore. We, of course, thanked them back. Several times.

There's really nothing in the world I'm more thankful for than MCR. They have brought so much to my life and have taught me so many things over the years. They've given me something so powerful to believe in and to pass on. To see them live and to get to talk to them in person is an absolute blessing.


Read the official Buzznet/MCR Tour Report.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Unabridged Live Review: My Chemical Romance @ The Honda Civic Tour / September 10, 2011 / Noblesville, IN

I've learned every dance move my body is capable of from My Chemical Romance.

That was the thought I had on September 10 in Noblesville, Indiana as I found myself strangely dancing (only when not jumping or thrashing) along naturally to MCR. And if you know me at all, you will understand that I do not dance.

However, a lot lead up to that dance revelation...

In my previous Honda Civic Tour review, I had mentioned my GPS's affinity for backroads and strange routes. As it turns out, no matter what settings I program into the thing, it still wants to take me through horrifying, surely-murderer-filled small towns in the middle of nowhere. Other than being guided away from the beaten path, my bad luck from the last show seemed to have scampered elsewhere.

My best friend and I arrived at the Verizon Wireless Music Center one state away from home around 5 p.m., on schedule despite all of our strange detours, to retrieve our tickets.

As we walked to the box office, I saw many familiar faces. In the parking lot, I saw a girl I had met at the Cincinnati show, and close to the front of one of the many the lines, wearing a Mikey Fuckin Way shirt, a girl I had stood near at Cleveland show in April and who had also been at the front of the line for the Cincinnati HCT show.

It's interesting how, after a few shows, one starts to recognize people. It's also funny how those faces change over the years as fans migrate in and out. The set of faces I recognized from the first shows I went to is not the same set I recognize now, aside from the few countenances that have changed only as a result of aging.

While waiting for the lines to go in, I saw Tiffany again, and finally got to properly meet fellow MCRmy moderator Laurie. She, my best friend and her three friends, who had all traveled all the way from the south for the show, sat in a circle and talked MCR until it was time to go in.

Even before getting inside, I knew the Indiana crowd would be better for MCR than the Cincinnati one was. The sheer number of MCR shirts and Killjoy get-ups I saw was very reassuring. All signs had pointed to its being a good birthday show for bassist Mikey Way.

All day leading up to the show, I had been trying to promote a birthday project for Mikey. It would involve the crowd's trying to start a chorus of "Happy Birthday" during the first pause between songs. I was informed just before MCR went on that the first set pause would be after their first two songs.

After their opening with "Na Na Na..." and immediately following showcase of old-school anthem "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," I and those around me tried to belt out the birthday song at the top of our lungs. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, we were not loud enough for the the project to work.

Still, just a few songs later in the set, Gerard Way began singing the birthday song. Without his even announcing whose birthday it was, the crowd was prepared with a name when "happy birthday, dear Mikey" was upon them.

Check out my video of it below!

As always, My Chemical Romance did an amazing job, and--as I had predicted--the crowd was way more in tune with them than at the previous show I had attended.

The sing-alongs were louder, and the energy exchange was much greater. Only one person near me chanced disrespect for the band during MCR's set, which was a relief after the disheartening behavior so many show-goers in Cincinnati had displayed.

A highlight was seeing MCR play "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" (Spotify | iTunes) live. It was so touching, and the up-and-down arm movements Gerard directed the crowd to do resonated through the entire amphitheater, creating what was surely a stunning visual from the stage.

"S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" is a song that has come to mean a lot to me and that has helped me cope with many things. I never thought I would get to see it live. I found myself tearing up as I sang along to it in disbelief.

Their setlist, with the inclusion of the aforementioned song and the exclusion of a few previous staples, differed greatly from the Cincinnati one:

"Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
"Planetary (GO!)"
"The Only Hope For Me Is You"
"The Kids From Yesterday"
"Give 'Em Hell, Kid"
"Welcome to the Black Parade"

As the songs shifted, MCR's digital backdrop changed among the prevailing images of the three albums from which they played: Displaying "the widow" during Danger Days..., the Demolition Lovers for songs from Three Cheers..., and the marching skeleton for those from The Black Parade.

From where I was, it was hard to see their expressions clearly, or to get a good grasp on what was going on onstage, but that made the experience no less touching, especially during "Helena," "The Kids From Yesterday" and "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W," which all made my heart swell.

MCR's replacement drummer Jarrod Alexander fit in seamlessly, and no attention was drawn to him, while it was evident that the four official members of MCR had not let any past misfortunes on the tour hold them back.

As for finding myself moving uncontrollably to their music: Let's just say I went home to find several bruises covering my legs from jumping banging my legs against the seats in front of me. It's almost like one can't help it at shows like this one, where not everyone is as into it.

For me, at least, it makes me want to sing along just that much louder and give them back more energy than maybe I have to offer at all (as evidenced by occasionally losing my breath and feeling dizzy).

After MCR, my friend and I decided to stay for a few of Blink's songs, but after having just seen My Chem, everything else just pales comparison.

When we left, I discovered that my car battery had died while I was inside.
Uh-oh. The bad luck had returned...

Did it follow me to the Cuyahoga Falls/Cleveland show a couple days later? Check back for my upcoming review of that show to find out!


Check out the official tour report from Tiffany!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Chemical Romance perform Reworked version of "Skylines and Turnstiles" [VIDEO]

Last night in Detroit, My Chemical Romance performed a reworked, quieter version of "Skylines and Turnstiles," in honor of the tragedy that the song is about on the tenth year anniversary of its having been written.

MCR frontman Gerard Way penned "Skylines and Turnstiles" after having witnessed the September 11 attacks firsthand. Seeing such a tragedy, as he has often explained, motivated him to want to do something more with his life to help others. Ultimately, what came of that inspiration was MCR.

"All we ever want to do is inspire somebody to be who they want to be and to give them a little bit of hope," Way said introducing the song last night.


PS: I saw MCR in Indiana on September 10 and will be seeing them again tomorrow in Cleveland. I will have reviews up here as soon as possible!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Chemical Romance Fires Mike Pedicone

As most of you probably already read, MCR guitarist Frank Iero announced via blog post on Friday September 2 that "the relationship between My Chemical Romance and [touring drummer] Michael Pedicone is over," after "[Pedicone] was caught red handed stealing from the band."

"We are heartbroken and sick to our stomachs over this entire situation. The band has no intention of pressing charges or taking this matter any further than we have to. We just want him out of our lives. The people who play in this band are a family, and family should not take advantage of each other like he did," Iero wrote.

In a Kerrang! exclusive, Pedicone made a statement explaining his side of the story.

Pedicone said that what had lead him to make the "poorest decision of [his] life" had been an ongoing conflict with a member of the crew, whom he had "tried to make...look incompetent" through his actions.

Since letting Pedicone go, My Chemical Romance has recruited drummer Jarrod Alexander, formerly of A Static Lullaby, to play with them live without missing a show of their current Honda Civic Tour.

"The show must go on," as Frank Iero said.

Good fucking riddance.